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Makin' Bacon!

eatapedia

Newbie
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10
Joined Jul 5, 2009
G'day All!

Here are some pictures from my "Porktastic Adventures in Bacon Making".   (Sorry for the giant pics...can't resize on the fly, it seems)

Highlights:  I "built" a cold smoker, I didn't kill myself with botulism and I can now make all the bacon I can eat.  Mwahahaha!

Lowlights:  This batch was very salty.

The full story is detailed over 3 blog posts found here:

Part 1 - http://www.eatapedia.com/?p=593
Part 2 - http://www.eatapedia.com/?p=616
Conclusion - http://www.eatapedia.com/?p=629

I started with two pork bellies:



Cured them and put them in the fridge for 7 days:





Rinsed them off and put them in my FrankenTraeger:





Sliced them up and fried me up some bacon!






 

 

DanMcG

Smoking Guru
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Thats some good looin bacon! and I like your cold smoker
 

meateater

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Great looking bacon, that hose contraption is different but if it works what the hay.
 

beer-b-q

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Great Looking Bacon ...  That is one weird setup you have there...
 

Bearcarver

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Eatapedia,

Your Bacon looks mighty tasty, and I like your cold smoking set up.

You mentioned:

So, I suspect the only portion of this experiment that I didn’t look after myself: The mixing of the curing salts. I know I rinsed this stuff off very well, so I don’t think it was the prep.

I didn't see anywhere that you did a salt test after curing, but before smoking:

After I rinse mine, I soak it for 1/2 hour in ice water. Then I rinse it again, and cut a couple slices, and fry them up (nice little snack). This does two things.

#1 You get to see if it got cured all the way through, by seeing if it gets pink all the way to the middle when fried.

#2 You get to see if it's too salty. If it is too salty, soak it for another hour in clean ice water. Then test it again. Keep doing this until it is no longer too salty.

This way, when you smoke it, and pull it out, you won't say, "Too late to do anything about it", because you fixed it before you smoked it.

So far the only one I ever had to soak more than that 1/2 hour was when I used a pre-mix packet, instead of my own mix.

You needed a little extra salt this time anyway from all that sweating you did all Summer.

Now you're hooked on Bacon!

Bearcarver
 

eatapedia

Newbie
8
10
Joined Jul 5, 2009
Hi all,

Thanks for all the feedback, I get a real kick out of the comments on my FrankenTraeger!  :-)

Bearcarver:  That's such a fantastic and so riddled with common sense.  Thanks very much for the tip!!!

For this batch, soaking the slices in water, following that same approach (basically) before frying actually helps immensely...but, yeah, a few lessons learned, and I am eager as hell to try again!

Thanks again, everyone!
 

scarbelly

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
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Joined Jul 26, 2009
Eatapedia,

Your Bacon looks mighty tasty, and I like your cold smoking set up.

You mentioned:

So, I suspect the only portion of this experiment that I didn’t look after myself: The mixing of the curing salts. I know I rinsed this stuff off very well, so I don’t think it was the prep.

I didn't see anywhere that you did a salt test after curing, but before smoking:

After I rinse mine, I soak it for 1/2 hour in ice water. Then I rinse it again, and cut a couple slices, and fry them up (nice little snack). This does two things.

#1 You get to see if it got cured all the way through, by seeing if it gets pink all the way to the middle when fried.

#2 You get to see if it's too salty. If it is too salty, soak it for another hour in clean ice water. Then test it again. Keep doing this until it is no longer too salty.

This way, when you smoke it, and pull it out, you won't say, "Too late to do anything about it", because you fixed it before you smoked it.

So far the only one I ever had to soak more than that 1/2 hour was when I used a pre-mix packet, instead of my own mix.

You needed a little extra salt this time anyway from all that sweating you did all Summer.

Now you're hooked on Bacon!

Bearcarver
I do this too - I have had to resoak on several occasions - much better to be sure

Great looking Bacon and what a cool idea with the smoker
 

miamirick

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looks great   but how do you run the dryer without the vent? 
 

lspilot82

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Joined Nov 30, 2009
My question is do you have to cold smoke it? I dont think I could set up my smoker for cold smoking, but I really wanna make some bacon.
 

scarbelly

Epic Pitmaster
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Joined Jul 26, 2009
My question is do you have to cold smoke it? I dont think I could set up my smoker for cold smoking, but I really wanna make some bacon.
If you want to cold smoke go here and order one of these - you can cold smoke anything with this - a lot of us have them and swear by them

www.amazenproducts.com  

If you are not sure if you are ready for the $30 leap you can also use a tin can with a soldering iron in wood chips - trust me if you ever make bacon you will never buy it again
 

old poi dog

Master of the Pit
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Joined Aug 26, 2007
Both Bacon and Franken Traeger look fine
.   We're all looking forward to your next batch...
 

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